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Which type of guitar strings?


garywilson456

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Not being a metallurgist, I'll just have to take your word for it. I was just stating MY impression based on my particular experience with aluminum, and in a particular application.

 

Plus, can't recall the EXACT cost of the Elixir's I bought around here, but I DO recall the price was higher than what you posted!

 

Next set I get, I'll have to go where YOU shop! ;)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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+1 on JustStrings.com , I have ordered lots of strings through them. They have the best selection of strings (i.e. electric, acoustic, Nashville and nylon guitar, singles for making custom sets, bass, dobro, banjo, mandolin, cello, etc.) and give excellent service. Their prices are lower too, but they add about $6.95 for shipping. If you are ordering 6 or 7 sets and divide the shipping cost over the number of sets, then it works out well. Be careful if you only order 1 or 2 sets, as that extra shipping cost adds up quick... :cool:

 

ps. also, Amazon.com is a good place to buy strings. They ship free if you order $35 worth of strings or strings in combination with other stuff. You can find Elixirs for $14 +/- on the site as well, along with many other brands...I just ordered a $23 set of Thomastik from Amazon last night...

Take care, Larryz
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Please do. Working with aluminum in an auto plant proved to be a dicey undertaking.

 

Aluminum body parts(hoods, trunk lids and doors) just didn't hold up and were difficult to work with. Aluminum engine blocks were tricky, too.

 

Plus I'm questioning the sound.

 

Aluminum seemed like such a "dead" metal to me, sort of like LEAD, only LIGHT! But just as pliable and soft. Seems an odd choice for guitar strings. It's got MY curiosity piqued!

Whitefang

 

Thanks for the suggestion and I also ordered online for that type of strings.

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I received the Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze strings yesterday and threw them on my Takamine acoustic last night. I tried them last night acoustically and then put them through the amp this afternoon. The gauge is 11-52 (11 15 22w 30w 42w 52w). My fretting fingers didn't turn black as bad as they do with Phosphor Bronze strings. The Aluminum "provides added resistance to acids, sweat and string contaminants" (i.e. BBQ Spare Ribs LOL!). Anyway they stretched in within about an hour and a half of play time. The intonation stayed right dead on. The volume acoustically was very good and on the amp they really brought the Takamine (top of the line) electronics to life. Very nice acoustic lows, mids and high tones...

 

They do squeak about the same as any uncoated acoustic string which is not that bad (unless you've been playing jazz on flat wounds for awhile on my other guitars, then any string sounds noisy to me).

 

I was at a guitar store this after noon and picked up a few Taylors for comparison. Taylors come with Elixir Nano Web coated strings. The Elixers cost a lot more $7 Ernie Ball vs $14 Elixir +/-. I think the uncoated Ernie Balls will last as long or longer as the Elixirs, which is pretty good considering that "long lasting strings", is the big advertised draw on coated strings. The Ernie Balls have a little more volume unplugged. However, the Elixirs had a little less string squeak and were much easier on the fingers as far as comfort goes and sounded just as good once the guitars were plugged in.

 

@ Gary, I'll probably go back to the Elixirs again, next time I change strings as they just feel better and are not as hard on the fingers. But, I'm leaving the EB's on for awhile to see how well they hold up. Sometimes new strings will quiet down on the squeaking after a little more wear...we'll see.

 

@ Fang, I think the Aluminum is going to work out well as an alloy for guitar strings as the strings sound great. I know houses wired with Aluminum had major problems and it is a pretty soft metal when it comes to car parts. I know of some old jeepers that liked the V6 aluminum blocks when rebuilding the old Willys though... :cool:

 

 

 

 

Thank for the information I will going to think about it but I already buy a an electric guitar strings and I hope it's works good.

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@ Gary, I hope you picked an electric gauge similar to the acoustic gauge you are replacing (i.e. 11-52, 12-52, etc.) If not, you may experience some fret buzz if you go too light (i.e. 9-42, 10-48, etc.)...you can always put heavier strings back on, if you need to.
Take care, Larryz
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@ Gary, I hope you picked an electric gauge similar to the acoustic gauge you are replacing (i.e. 11-52, 12-52, etc.) If not, you may experience some fret buzz if you go too light (i.e. 9-42, 10-48, etc.)...you can always put heavier strings back on, if you need to.

 

Thanks Larry, I will remember your advice, but I mostly like light weight strings because it's not too much hard.

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A couple of buddies and I did some acoustic string testing yesterday. In search of strings that squeak the least with finger noise and sound good acoustically. My buddy had an acoustic Martin loaded with electric D'Addario Chromes Flat Wounds which we did not include in the test but would win hands down for finger squeak. They are a bit dull and do not sound acoustic, but they worked fine if plugged in and playing jazzy stuff.

 

The strings tested were 12-53 Newtone, 12-53 D'Addario Flat Tops, 11-52 Elixir Polywebs, 11-52 Ernie Ball Aluminum, and 11-50 Thomastik Plectrums. All tests were done on the same amp with the exact same settings and a Planet Waves guitar chord that allowed us to switch from the amp to acoustic only. All strings were new but broke in. The guitars used were Taylor 214, 324, 416 and 814 and a Takamine P3NY.

 

Newtones: were advertised as double wrapped phosphor bronze reducing finger noise. They were the worst for finger squeak noise especially over the amp. They would sound good acoustically if you could hear the guitar over the finger squeaking...comfort level was OK.

 

Ernie Ball: squeaked less than the Newtones and sounded much better acoustically than a lot of the strings tested. But the finger squeak was still there and the wrap is a little heavy. They were still OK as far as comfort level goes...

 

Elixir Polywebs: Less squeak and a nice comfort level/feel. A little less volume due to the coating but we would choose them over the Newtones and Ernies...it would have been nice to have had a set of Nano-Webs for comparison with their lighter coating. Elixirs are definitely worth the extra money.

 

D'Addario Flat Tops: Are polished strings and won 1st prize on finger squeak. They sound OK too both amped and acoustic. I didn't care for the feel though. They just seamed like they slowed the action down a bit, even though they were loaded on the most expensive Taylor 814 with the action expertly set.

 

Thomastik Plectrum: Came in 1st for acoustic sound and feel plugged or unplugged. They fared very well (2nd place) as far as finger squeak too. They are double the price of any of the other strings which is a bit of a draw back. The 6th string is not polished or Flatwound and it would have been nice if it were (matching the rest of the strings). They have round cores and bend much easier than the other strings tested.

 

Hope that the above info is helpful...I would choose the Elixir or the Thomastik's...

 

 

 

Take care, Larryz
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When playing guitar. Especially during the outdoor summer season I use these. I really do like these. $2.74 a set. Strings add up when you are using multiple axes and you need to change them a lot.

 

http://www.webstrings.com/

 

 

That said... I am not playing guitar right now. At home I have my number 1 strung with Cleartones 9s and my main bender guitar strung with SIT 9s. Not sure if that coating stuff on the Cleartone makes much difference or not. It still sounds like a Tele.

 

I always did like the sounds of Boomer but they will eat your nickle frets.

 

Too much string hype is woo-woo marketing science. The main factor is how fresh is your steel.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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After further testing, I'm going with the Elixirs (or a coated string like Cleartone). The Thomastiks feel great, bend great and sound great but they turn my fingers black. They also turn my palm black when I rest it on the strings near the bridge. I think the coated strings will work better for me at half the price and keep my fingers clean LOL! :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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Thanks Larryz, about the details of different - different strings, but yeah, I don't understand the technical things like"The strings tested were 12-53 Newtone, 12-53 D'Addario Flat Tops, 11-52 Elixir Polywebs, 11-52 Ernie Ball Aluminum, and 11-50 Thomastik Plectrums. All tests were done on the same amp with the exact same settings and a Planet Waves guitar chord that allowed us to switch from the amp to acoustic only. All strings were new but broke in. The guitars used were Taylor 214, 324, 416 and 814 and a Takamine P3NY." and yeah I also like the Elixir too.
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@ Gary, don't worry as the terms I used are not that technical

 

The guitars used were Taylors and a Takamine, which is the brand name like Fender or Gibson...

 

The model numbers 214 324 416 etc., are just mentioned to show that different Taylors were used which range in value. The least expensive was in their 200 series and the most expensive was in their 800 series...

 

Newtone, D'Addario, Elixir etc., are just the brand names of the strings...

 

Flat tops, Polywebs, Aluminum, etc., refer to the type of materials in the strings, polishing or the coatings...

 

12-53 11-52 11-50 refer to the string gauge or thickness of the strings. 11's and 12's refer to the 1st string and 50's 52's refer to the 6th string. When buying a set of strings, here is an example of each string thickness:

 

String Inches mm

E-1st .010 0.25

B-2nd .014 0.36

G-3rd .023 0.58

D-4th .030 0.76

A-5th .049 0.99

E-6th .047 1.19

 

So, this set of strings would be referred to as 10-47 as the 1st string is a 10 and the 6th string is a 47 in thickness (gauge).

 

You can look up just about any string gauge for any set of strings by visiting Juststrings.com

 

Hope this was helpful... :cool:

 

Take care, Larryz
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I`ve given coated strings several tryouts-something about them makes me go eww..

For squeak problems, I`ve been working on just lifting my hand from the board.To put it another way, leaping rather than sliding. It`s slow going but when it works it`s good.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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I find that Elixirs last longer but the intonation starts to drift after a couple of weeks of use. Also they don't project lead lines well - seem to be thin-sounding particularly for Blues with my Les Paul.

 

Always go back to Ernie Ball power slinky which are the best compromise for me anyways plus the price is right with 2 sets for the price of 1.

Been round the block but am not over the hill...

 

http://www.bandmix.ca/jamrocker/

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@ Bartholomew, the only thing that bugs me about elixirs is the little flakes next to the bridge that make my guitar look like it has dandruff and also the flaky look in the picking area as the coating wears off LOL!

 

@ Skip, yeah, I learned the lifting of the finger concept when I bought my nylon string guitars. The 3 wrapped strings squeak like a big dog while the 3 gut string are silent in comparison which only makes the squeaking more noticeable. I do a lot of sliding on some tunes and lift when I can LOL! I'm going to try one more acoustic and electric "non-coated" set of strings by SIT called Silencers, as they come in 11-50's (my preferred gauge) with a wrapped 3rd. Nickle for electric and bronze for acoustic with a special "inverted" wrap said to lower string noise. Half way between round wound and flat wound...will see how they work and report back... :cool:

Take care, Larryz
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I've never had that happen with MY Elixirs, Larry. But you know I only play acoustic, and never in a "professional" setting. So, I suppose if I did, I too, might find the same occurance.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I use it. Yes is does make a mess but the hot humid outdoor shows it improves playability. Just don't wear black.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I use it. Yes is does make a mess but the hot humid outdoor shows it improves playability. Just don't wear black.

 

Hmmmmmnnn... Maybe I aughtta market a black powder product for guitarists... :thu:

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I use it. Yes is does make a mess but the hot humid outdoor shows it improves playability. Just don't wear black.

 

Hmmmmmnnn... Maybe I aughtta market a black powder product for guitarists... :thu:

 

You could call it Flint Lock...

Take care, Larryz
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I've never had that happen with MY Elixirs, Larry. But you know I only play acoustic, and never in a "professional" setting. So, I suppose if I did, I too, might find the same occurance.

Whitefang

 

Do you use a pick or are you just good about changing strings more often? I could tell when it was time to change strings by the amount of fraying LOL! Elixir advertises that the fraying does not affect the sound at all...some others like Acoustic Science and Cleartone advertise that their high tech coatings do not flake...

Take care, Larryz
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Update: Threw on an acoustic set of SIT 11-50's "Silencers" last night and they sound great. They are about the same price as the Ernie Balls. They squeak maybe just a fraction less than the Ernies but I like the SIT's better for feel as they are less coarsely wrapped. Both the Ernies and SIT's sound good acoustically. The SIT's are not silent. I compared them to the Thomastik and the Thomastik wins for less squeak and more comfort. But they are about 3 times the price...it's going to be a while before I take either set off to try the Elixirs again someday, as I like both sets for now. The Thomastik really turn your fingers black (my only bad comment). They have a lighter gauge wrapped 3rd string and they are much easier for bending with less tension on the low end, if you like to bend the wrapped strings on acoustic guitars...I think the SIT's strings are brighter sounding with a good all around acoustic sound.
Take care, Larryz
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Update: Threw on an Electric set of 11-50 SIT Silencers last night and they worked fine. They are semi-flat electric with a wrapped 20gauge 3rd string. They bend much easier than flat wounds. They do not squeak as much as other uncoated electric strings and have some bright twang going for them...Nickle coated steel with "inverse winding"...They are just OK as far as feel though. They are not that bad for feel considering they are uncoated strings...and they do Stay In Tune (i.e. SIT string's namesake), even when you use the Bigsby on them LOL!
Take care, Larryz
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Yes, Larry, I do use a pick, but I usually don't strum hard enough to be heard across the street. Since when I do play, it's for an audience of one( the Mrs. who's usually no further than 10 or so feet away, so there's no NEED to play very loud). For years, whenever I'd pack my axe back in the case, I'd cover it with a large, soft cloth( an old dish towel), and when I'd take it out, I'd give it a quick wipe down.

 

But, ya never know. I just MAY buy a good electric one day, so that problem might crop up. As when I DID have an electric, I loved playing blues and have been known to bend strings "neck width" a lot. So, some of your tips would likely come in very handy. :)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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You probably picked gently and used nano-web Elixirs and they don't fray as bad with the thinner coating. I was using poly-webs (which have a thicker coating like they have been dipped in wax) and they looked fuzzy in the picking area after about 3 months.

 

Wiping the guitar down after each use is a great habit to get into. I usually put mine away as is, without wiping them down, as I know I'm going to pick that sweaty guitar back up in the morning and try to remember what I played the night before LOL! Then after another round I wipe'em down...

 

I don't bend strings that much anymore, about a one whole note up full bend is all I need for the most part. I like using 1/2 bends. That's why I don't mind the heavier 11-50 sets of strings. I run the same gauge on both my electrics and acoustics. Back when I did a lot of bending (more blues and rock on the Strats), I used lighter gauge strings like 9-42's...

 

You mentioned you once knew a nutty guy that put acoustic strings on an electric guitar...just wondering, did they sound OK for volume and tone? I know it didn't make the electric guitar sound like an acoustic guitar. I've run electric strings on an acoustic for playing jazzy stuff, but I have never tried acoustic strings on an electric guitar...

Take care, Larryz
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As I recall the acoustic strings on his electric did NOT make it sound acoustic. Really didn't sound too different, if any at all than his usual electric strings in spite of them being "medium" guage. He just found it harder to play with them on it. Too stiff, was his complaint. :)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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A lot of guys consider Flatwounds too stiff. But, for those players out there that are into Flatwounds, I would go with D'Addario Chromes @ $13 bucks a set. They sound brighter than the Thomastik (which are really great strings) and they are half the price of Thomastik which run about $23 bucks a set...I've tried many of the other brands of flat wound strings and these are the two that work the best for me. I love the feel and the silent finger noise of Flatwounds. Many players find them to be too dull and too stiff, while others love them...

 

 

Take care, Larryz
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